Patch's Local Voices community is a blogging haven where people write about their interests, passions, opinions and hobbies, as well as historical facts, educational issues and, yes, even haunted houses and businesses.
Patch wants as many Local Voices involved because it's at the heart of what Patch hopes to provide to residents: a place to share, debate, talk and communicate.
However,in talking with residents and business owners, there seems to be a slight disconnect about what it means and how easy it is to do.
So in the interest of pulling some in more voices, here's a quick list of five misconceptions readers have about blogging and being a Local Voice on a Patch community site.
1. You have to be a writer. NO.
You do need to have some computer skills and keyboard skills as we don't take handwritten posts, but you certainly don't have to be a professional writer by any means.
2. It's time consuming. NO.
One plus about blogging is there's no specific word count or blog post length. It could be a few graphs or 900 words. Whatever you want it to be.
3. I have to do it every day. NO.
Blogging is like an online diary or journal. You write when the muse hits, and when you have time, and that's any time in the 24-hour living cycle - from once a day to once a month to every three months.
4. I have to be an expert in the subject matter. NO.
Of course it's easiest to write about something you know and understand. However, it's not a requirement. You could give an opinion, toss out ideas, ask for insight and feedback in a blog. You could just share something interesting you found on another Patch site or even another website. If you're an expert or professional in a specific industry, then it's a great way to share that knowledge, expand your networking efforts and make new contacts, but it's not a requirement. For instance, it's a great way for scout leaders to highlight troop activities as well as for business leaders to explain their views of a new development proposal and collectors of rare antiques to share a recent find.
5. Someone might change my words. NO.
Local Voices are not edited except for the usual profanity/libel potential. Patch editors read the blogs of course, but we rarely write the blogger to ask them to change anything. We may correct a misspelling in a headline to help someone look better, but that's all done as a supportive measure, not as an editing or review measure. It's your voice we want, your words and your insight. Why would we ever edit that?
So now that you know how easy it is, and those misconceptions are gone from your head, get your profile set up with a head shot, and start blogging.